Chelsea and Spurs set to split Monday night spoils
Holly Thackeray | April 30, 2016
Chelsea v Tottenham
- Premier League
- Monday, May 2nd
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Stamford Bridge, west London
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Battle of Bridge to bring goal glut
Capital clashes between Chelsea and Tottenham always have an edge and, with 17 goals from their last five meetings in all competitions, the two London teams square up with expectations of an enthralling Monday Night Football encounter.
Whether this match-up means more than just a local derby rests with Tottenham’s title rivals Leicester City, as the Midlands men can amazingly clinch the coveted trophy on Old Trafford turf on Sunday.
Should the Foxes fail in that quest, Spurs will certainly still have silverware to play for and are 13/8 for a first victory at Stamford Bridge since 1990. Still, even if the title is lost to Tottenham, the north London team should be buoyed by manager Mauricio Pochettino’s verbal commitment to extending his contract.
The Argentine tactician told press after his side slumped to a draw against West Bromwich Albion: “It is difficult. We are not going to give up.”
Spurs, then, will need to seek the same fearlessness that saw them memorably sink Chelsea 5-3 at White Hart Lane last term, with enticing odds of 7/2 for a Tottenham triumph and both teams to score, or alternatively a 15/8 price for over 3.5 goals to occur again.
Chelsea motivated to slow down Spurs
However, the Blues, bruised by losing their tag as English champions in such a fashion, have had the better of Stamford Bridge bouts across the Premier League era, but still look a little long at 17/10 to take three points from Tottenham considering their poor form this campaign.
The west Londoners have dominated duels with their rivals over recent times, with two wins to nil at home on Spurs’ past two league visits across the capital. So, Guus Hiddink’s guys look best value at 5/2 to force a draw, having done so already in the reverse.
Of the club’s motivation to stop Spurs from taking their title, Belgium winger Eden Hazard said: “The fans, the club, the players, we don’t want Tottenham to win the Premier League.
“We have a good game next week against Tottenham and if we can beat them it will be good.”
All-but defunct champions Chelsea still have stopper Thibaut Courtois suspended, with veteran defenders John Terry and Gary Cahill both dubbed injury doubts, so Hiddink will have to rely on his hitmen after thrashing Bournemouth 4-1 last time out.
As it happens, Hazard was a brace hero on that outing and also fired past Spurs twice last term, so is 14/1 to be at the double or better again. While, Spain schemer Cesc Fabregas was the man pulling the strings sublimely, and is 11/2 to get on the scoresheet himself anytime, with Pedro Rodriguez 9/1 to poach the opener for the second successive week.
Tottenham to recover scoring touch
With Dele Alli suspended and doubts over Eric Dier’s fitness, much responsibility will rest on Harry Kane’s shoulders. The striker has struck 24 in the Premier League this season and, title chances or not, will be keen to stake his claim for the Golden Boot, as the Englishman sits just one ahead of closest competitor Sergio Aguero.
Lethal Kane also found the net twice against Chelsea last season and is 9/2 to notch the opener at Stamford Bridge, or a tempting 5/1 to be named Man of the Match. While, much of the midfield dynamism will be down to Mousa Dembele (6/1 to score anytime), with Christian Eriksen (11/4) surely also fancying his chances of unlocking the Blues’ depleted defence.
Coral’s top tips: Chelsea look tasty at 5/2 to force a draw.